Proposed new hair salons tax raising eyebrows


| jlyons@queenscourier.com |

With Americans already looking for ways to tighten their spending during these tough economic times, members of the cosmetology industry are concerned that proposed taxes on their services could hurt their businesses even further.
The New York State budget proposal by Governor David Paterson includes several additional taxes. A part of that proposal is “conforming the state sales tax to New York City’s practice of taxing personal services, such as barbering, massages, and hair salons.”
“I was devastated,” said New York State Cosmetology Association, Inc. (NYSCA) President Cindy Ezman. “This would be like opening up a Pandora’s box. Once you start taxing our services, where does it stop?”
Lois Christie, the President and CEO of Christie & Co. Salon

  • Spa and President of Intercoiffure, said that she felt shocked and insulted when she found out about the tax. She noted that within New York City there is already a tax on salon services that does not exist on Long Island, and now a state tax might be added to that.
    “In this economy, it is ridiculous,” Christie said.
    Ezman said that as families budget their spending more and more, the industry will be hurt. She also said that it could mean that some businesses will close if they can no longer afford to remain open.
    NYSCA has been writing e-mails and letters to elected officials, including the governor, to make them aware of how damaging they feel the proposed tax would be. Members have also been getting signatures on petitions.
    “This is what we solicit membership for in the organization,” Ezman said. “Our primary function is to watchdog any legislative action that would affect the profession because our mission statement is to promote, foster and protect the cosmetologist and their clients.”
    Christie said that her business has sent in thousands of signatures of those against the proposed tax. She said many clients are outraged.
    Recently, Ezman also went to Albany in hopes of being able to give testimony to the Legislative Finance Committee during public hearings. She presented the committee with written testimony and said that the subject did come up twice during the public hearing.
    “This affects every man, woman and child,” Ezman said of the tax. “I know of no one who does not get their hair cut or did at one time.”
    Ezman said that members of the community who are interested in having their voices heard on the proposed tax should also get in touch with their local representatives.